GEOM2420 - Terrain models


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

Digital terrain models have many potential applications. Examples can be for sustainable management of land resources, understanding natural hazards and for design and implementation of projects in construction and building industry. Digital terrain models are an essential tool for digitalization in the construction and building industry.

Central topics of this course:

  • What is a digital terrain model
  • How a digital terrain model can be established
  • Data collection, various interpolation methods with accuracy assessments
  • Curve generation from spot elevations and terrain lines
  • Bases with several layers
  • Design: basic road design, excavation pits, boreholes
  • Volume calculations
  • Visualization and perspective drawing, shading, removal of hidden lines, combination with orthophoto, rendering
  • Establishment and control of terrain model
  • Digital data flow
  • BIM/3D-models

Learning outcome


After completing the course, the candidate shall:

  • Be able to describe and evaluate possibilities and limitations for digital terrain models
  • Be able to describe and compare different data capture methods for digital terrain models
  • Be able to document basic insights on the concepts, possibilities and applications of terrain models, and relate this to selected and related subject areas.
  • Be able to execute and describe basic principles of 3D interpolation, volume calculation and visualization
  • Be able to describe and communicate knowledge of digital data flow


After completing the course, the student shall be able to:

  • Apply terrain model knowledge to solve both practical tasks and more theoretical tasks related to the practical use of a selected terrain modeling program
  • Perform basic design of roads and excavation pits
  • Perform volume calculations using software
  • Establish, control the quality and update a terrain model using software

General competence:

  • Independence and ability to learn and use advanced 3D software
  • Exercise interaction and collaboration through task solving
  • Ability to independently and in cooperation with others to establish terrain model

Learning methods and activities

  • Lectures
  • Obligatory coursework and project work
  • Supervision

Compulsory assignments

  • Compulsury assignment

Further on evaluation

  • Obligatory coursework
    • 3 x written assignments
    • Assessed as approved/not approved
    • All obligatory coursework must be approved in order to sit the exam

Re-sit of exam in August.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Geomatics (BIGEOMAT)

Required previous knowledge

  • GEOM1130 Introduction to geomatics
  • GEOM1140 Geographical data

Course materials

Literature is given at start of semester.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Gjøvik

Subject area(s)
  • Geomatics
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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